By 30 Seconds To Mars
After eventually getting around to purchasing the follow up to 'A Beautiful Lie' I was surprised to see that it had not been reviewed on this site as of yet. Rectification begin...
'This Is War' has had quite a hard time of it really. It's said that it is more along the lines of their self titled debut than the album that put them on the map for most of the world. It's been out a fair while now, and more so than others, first single 'Kings & Queens' has been played to death on the airwaves and video channels. This, however, doesn't stop it having some hidden gems in the track list. My absolute favourite has got to be 'Closer To The Edge.' Powerful, face-busting, at times quite ballad like, but with that punch that we have come to expect from Jared Leto and Co.
30 Seconds to Mars have a way of 'chasing a track.' Going where it takes them, following to that ultimate moment, that pinnacle. It asks a lot of questions about faith, reality, the world we live in, which I find thought provoking. It sticks firmly to what the title says though, 'This Is War' explores a world of fight, hurt, pain, and whilst the quiet-loud-quiet aspect of the band often is over used, the drama works, but perhaps too much - so much that it doesn't? The stomp-stomp-clap of 'Vox Populi' would not be out of place in the musical We Will Rock You, whilst the frontman's vocal on track one being drowned out by fans screaming the name of the album, make you think that they are producing a soundtrack rather than an album.
They are very Hollywood, which is where we all really know Leto from, but it was always going to be a hardship trying to achieve the success and appeal of 'A Beautiful Lie.' This outing shows slightly more pretension and perhaps failed kingship. It's a better album than what people make it out to be, but I understand their feelings.